Tag Archives: cisco

CiscoLive 2023 – Day Three

Had some good classes today!! I enjoyed the class that covered an overview of the CAT 9000 series of switches! Although the class was focused on the access layer, there was some info on the entire line. It’s nice to see that their various lines of switches (2900, 3600, 4500, and 6500) have all been consolidated into a single series of switches with a common architecture and operating system. With the 9000 series, it can take you from the access layer, through the distribution layer, and into the core. Thanks Cisco!!

I then took an intro class into BGP…it’s been a long time since I worked with BGP (it was still a 2-byte AS field). The two instructors, Gustavo Sibaja and Peter Paluch, did a very good job tackling a complex subject…and they made it fun!!

I also stopped by a variety of Cisco booths, checking in on the status of Cisco SIG, future plans for branch site security controls, etc. I can tell you this…Cisco is betting big with Secure Access! Umbrella SIG will ultimately be rolled into this service, and if Cisco can deliver on their promises, this could be a game changer for many organizations. Hopefully, it won’t have the growing pains that SIG had.

While walking around the World of Solutions, I noticed the Social Media Hub…

Other than taking this picture, you will never find me sitting in one of these! I am not a big believer in social media…in fact, I like to call it Anti-Social Media. There is a lot of potential good with social media…however, the results thus far have been largely negative, and even damaging. One can always hope…

Y’all have a great day!!

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CiscoLive 2023 – Day Two

The main keynote address was this morning…it started out with a group of dancers doing their thing. It didn’t do much for me…but most of the attendees liked it. Afterwards, there were several talks by some of Cisco’s divisional VP’s…they were ok, but most of them were glued to their teleprompters…can’t flub in front of a world-wide audience! However, Chuck Robbins (CEO) did a good job…you can tell he practiced his material, and rarely looked at the prompter. He also had some good information and news, and did a really good job of addressing his audience…thanking us for the job we do on a daily basis. He should be pleased with his presentation.

As for the rest of the day, I had some interesting classes…took a couple of walk-in labs…it was a good day!

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CiscoLive 2023 – Day One

Started the day off by drinking the Cisco Kool-aid…don’t you know that Cisco SD-WAN solves all problems!! Actually, they do have a very complete and mature solution…but it is equally complex and costly. If you have a lot of on-prem and Cloud based systems, and they all need to communicate with each other in a variety of manners, the Cisco SD-WAN solution will make it all work. Seriously…they cover all the bases, and then some. For smaller enterprise networks though, it’s probably overkill. Do yourself a favor and research SD-WAN…let your application requirements drive the network design. And remember…keep it simple!

I also attended a class on the Cisco CCNP…just to see what’s changed…which is not much over the last 4 or so years. However, the CCNP test is changing a bit this September…not too much they said, maybe about 20% of the test is getting updated. Not sure what parts though.

My wife and I then took a taxi down the strip, had dinner, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, then walked all the way back to the Mandalay Bay hotel. It was an enjoyable evening!!

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CiscoLive 2023 – It’s Been a While…

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog…life gets in the way sometimes. However, now is the time! And what better reason than CiscoLive 2023 in Las Vegas!!


My wife and I flew in yesterday afternoon (Saturday), and we are staying at Mandalay Bay Resort. CiscoLive is also located here, so no worries about transportation to/from the conference…this is VERY nice! I also purchased the Explorer pass for my wife…she is a bit of a geek herself, and she enjoys attending the main Keynotes, World of Solutions Expo, and the Cisco Live Celebration!! And her pass includes lunches, so we can meet up for that too!

This most likely will be my last CiscoLive! I’m retiring soon, and my manager at work was happy to coordinate this “last hurrah”, and send me to CiscoLive. (The company I work for is awesome!) I’m looking forward to gaining more knowledge about SD-WAN and related technologies. The network I manage is DMVPN based, and it’s been rock-solid for years. And since we have no Cloud presence (as yet), there has been no need for SD-WAN. However, that may be changing in the next year or two…so SD-WAN may be an important option soon. Cisco has a solid SD-WAN solution, but so does Palo Alto, VMware and Fortinet. And to be honest, although I have been drinking the Cisco Kool-Aid for many years, I am very open to other vendors. Dealing with Cisco these last 5 or so years has been a bit painful…(more about that another day).

I’ll try to provide updates over the next several days…fingers crossed.

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Cisco Releases NX-OS Security Alert Bundle

Cisco NS-OS Security Alert Headline

On March 6, 2019, Cisco released a bundle of Security Alerts aimed at their Cisco Nexus/NX-OS line of switches. And by bundle, I mean 25 separate alerts! If you have any of the affected devices in your network, you better get some coffee brewing…(for me, that means lots of Dr. Pepper!!). The Security Alert bundle can be found here, and Cisco’s main webpage for Security Alerts can be found here.


CiscoLive 2017 Las Vegas Day 1 – Opening Keynote & More

It was a great opening day of CiscoLive 2017 in Las Vegas! First session of the day had to do with using Cisco Umbrella (OpenDNS) to track down cyber activity within your network…

An excellent introduction to Cisco Umbrella

Next up was the opening keynote by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins…

Opening keynote by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

His keynote was actually interesting and well done, with little of the humorous hi-jinks of years past…it was professional. His main point concerned how things are changing in the network industry, and in big ways. I may not be involved with all of the new networking technologies that are on the horizon, but one thing was very apparent…I need to adapt to the new world. If I stick to the traditional routing and switching of years past, I might find myself on the outside looking in. And that is not a good thing!! An indication of this is the evolution of Cisco certifications…

Next generation of Cisco certifications

Keep your skill set up to date…or be left behind.

Next up, Chuck had a special guest come up to the platform to discuss the partnership between Cisco and Apple. Yep…the guest was Apple CEO Tim Cook…

Guest CEO Tim Cook from Apple

As for the afternoon, I spent most of it in the vendor expo “World of Solutions”….there was LOTS to see and do, AND learn!! I spent most of my time learning about SD-WAN technologies, updated security solutions, and logging/SIEM solutions. Plus, my wife attended with me!! Yes, I’m a lucky man…my wife is part geek too, and she loves attending CiscoLive with me. I purchased a “Social” pass for my wife which allows her to attend each days keynote address, World of Solutions, and the Cisco Customer Appreciation Event on Wednesday evening. She had a wonderful time today, as did I.

At the end of the day, we took the monorail down the Las Vegas strip and watched the Bellagio Fountains light show…make sure you don’t pass this up, it was well worth the time!!

Bellagio Fountains at nightime

Time to get some rest…it’s going to be another long day tomorrow…

Cisco IOS Feature/License Options

I need to add a feature (or license) to a number of my Cisco routers. This can get a bit confusing though, as Cisco made changes to their licensing model when they introduced the ISR G2 series of routers (IE: 1900, 2900 & 3900 series).

These routers use a “universal” image, and you simply license the features you want…in my case the routers are licensed for IPBase and UC, and I need to add the SEC (Security) license to the router. The license tree is pretty simple…

License options for newer Cisco routers

For my older routers, I’m currently running SP Services and I need to add Security/VPN, which means I need to upgrade to Advanced IP Services.

Feature set (IOS) options for older routers

Either way, Cisco is going to get a lot more money from me!!

CVD’s – Cisco Validated Design Guides

If you ever need some help in designing a network, wondering what’s the best practices for security or wireless, then Cisco has some very helpful information for you! Over the years, Cisco has put together a bunch of official network designs that you can review and use to assist with your own network design challenges. Cisco calls them CVD’s…or, Cisco Validated Designs. When they first started out, the designs were very technical and written in a bit of a bland manner (written by CCIE’s no doubt). Now, however, they are very colorful, lots of visuals and slick copy art, but…they are still technical and very helpful!!  (I would imagine they are still written by a bunch of CCIE’s, but then filtered through a design/publishing group of some sort.)

Take a look at this link:  Cisco Validated Designs

I’m in the process of reviewing and upgrading my core VTI/DMVPN infrastructure, and I’m reading through the CVD “Intelligent WAN Technology Design Guide”….

Cover pae for the CVD iWAN guide

Cover page for the CVD iWAN guide

This design guide is NOT light reading…it’s 287 pages of very technical information and sample configurations…VERY cool. It’s going to take me several days to digest this thing…but already it has answered several questions that I’ve been wondering about.

When you’re viewing the CVD webpage, scroll down near the bottom to the “Design guides by category”…as you can see, there are a ton of options which should cover just about anything you are interested in.


Meraki Wireless – Basics and Best Practices

I’ve just recently completed an enterprise wide wireless upgrade to Meraki AP’s. I have to say it brought joy to my heart to get rid of all those old (very old!!) Cisco AP’s. Wow…they were such boat anchors! Now we have a state of the art, cloud managed, wireless infrastructure that will support my company for many years to come. And management is SO much easier now…all from a single pane of glass. To be honest, I’m not a huge preacher for “cloud” management solutions…but for a wireless network, Meraki’s cloud management interface is incredible!!

To get you started, you should check this out:   Meraki Wireless Basics and Best Practices

Lots of great articles and best practices for wireless networks

Lots of great articles and best practices for wireless networks

Make sure to click on all three tabs…Guides, Articles and Most Popular.  Lots of great information, and a fair of amount of it pertains to generic wireless networks, not just Meraki.


Cisco VIRL Network Simulation Features

If you haven’t checked out all the features available through VIRL, take a look at this features page located on the VIRL website…you can scroll down to the bottom, and under “All Features” click the “OPEN ALL” button.  As you can see VIRL is a feature rich environment. One note of interest is the expected release of an updated Nexus switch object later this year…looks like it might include a number of layer 2 features, perhaps even vPC!!

Cisco VIRL Features